A report from Audatex, an independent company that provides information to insurance companies regarding repair shops and the federal government, states that in 2013, the average collision repair bill in Rhode Island totaled $3,325 per car, 29 percent higher than the national average car repair bill of $2,588. Yet, just across the border in Massachusetts, the average repair bill drops to $2,297.
One of the largest factors contributing to the costly car repairs in Rhode Island is labor costs. According to Audatex, the average labor cost for a car repair jumped 24 percent in Rhode Island over the past ten years. Nationally, labor costs saw only an eight percent increase. In Massachusetts, the cost increased just three percent in the past decade.
According to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average insurance premium in Rhode Island has been steady since the mid-1990s.
The Auto Body Association of Rhode Island (ABARI) supports four new pieces of legislation being considered by the Rhode Island General Assembly. The agency said the bills would regulate the car repair industry, though insurance companies oppose the legislation, which is currently being held for further study on Smith Hill.